Title: De sterke arm
Photographer(s): Various photographers
Writer(s): Jan Naeyé
Publisher(s): VU Boekhandel, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Size: 17 x 24 cm
Print: Haasbeek, Alphen aan de Rijn, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Nation(s) and year(s) of Protest: The Netherlands, 1968-1978
De sterke arm (strong arm) describes the Nieuwmarkt conflict in the form of a case study, focusing on the role of the police and the judiciary. Due to the development of mobile police units, the power of law and order has increased considerably over the last ten years. Consequently, the role of the police in major social conflicts associated with, for instance, blockades, occupations or raking squads has changed dramatically. Every municipality in the Netherlands now has a 'strong arm' consisting of centrally trained and uniformly organised mobile units with a force of many thousands of men, if necessary. Is such a powerful police force an obedient instrument of the local government or does it go its own way when it comes down to it?